Twitter feed is rolling, headlines are posted, and follower count is going up – looks like everything is going according to plan, right? Well, not always. Sure, you may have posted that great blog post that you wrote about Insurance Awareness Day, but how do you know that people are ACTUALLY clicking and reading it? According to some studies, on average, 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will actually click and read the content. What gives?
Let’s talk about writing great headlines and how to come up with the best Twitter headlines. This week, we will begin with a discussion about the length.
Yes, you have 140 characters but that DOES NOT mean that you have to use all 140! In fact, studies have proven again and again that headlines that are 8 words or less have the greatest success. Also, what if people want to RT and add commentary to your tweet? You want to allow them enough room to do so, right? Even if the title of your blog post is longer than average, it is important that you maneuver and change it on Twitter. The longer the headline, the more time it takes a reader to lose interest and continue to scroll. In “short,” SHORT HEADLINES ARE POWERFUL!
Keep in mind that your short and sweet headlines should also be:
Now that you are aware of the most effective length of a Twitter headline, you may want to learn about your GOALS when writing a headline. Be sure to check back for Part 2 in the coming weeks. You will not want to miss out on these headline writing tips!Continue Reading »
We hope that you have enjoyed the month of October and Halloween last week. Truth be told, many of us enjoy the spooks and scares that come along with this time of year. In light of this, I decided to focus on FEAR. This week, I want you all to face your fears in the blogging department. Yes, you heard me correctly!
For some, blogging is frightening. Writing is definitely not for everyone, which is one of the main reasons why insurance agents and business owners will not take blogging into their own hands. You may fear not having anything important to say. This type of fear is enough to turn anyone off from taking initiative, sitting down and blogging. Why do we tend to set ourselves up for failure? You are an insurance expert… you have plenty to share with your clients!
To lessen your fear of blogging, I have put together a quick list of 5 tips for all the beginners out there. It may seem scary to start, but you are sure to conquer your fear if you…
… Start small.
Blogging five days a week? Now THAT is intimidating! If you are new to the blogging world, starts with one post a week. 500 words? Slow down! A blog post can be anywhere from 100-300 words, or as long as it takes to get a solid point across. Do not let numbers frighten you. If you prefer to write a post that is only 100 words, once a week, that is where you should begin. Overwhelming yourself will only lead to procrastination. The key is to write quality content, not a large quantity of content.
…Blog about what you know.
If you do not have a full understanding about the topic you are blogging about, it will most likely show. You want to sound credible, so stick to what you know! If you are interested in learning more about a topic and blogging about it, take twenty minutes or so to research.
…Write in a conversational tone.
Some writers prefer to sound professional when writing blogs and articles, while others take a much more conversational tone. Personally, I prefer to be conversational. I believe that many readers enjoy this tone because it is relaxed and easy to read. If you are worried about sounding too “boring,” just start to write as you would speak to someone. Chances are, you can make it sound great and you will be able to get all your thoughts on the Word document without over thinking your grammar. You can always go back and edit!
…Create an editorial calendar.
Plan your blog posts ahead to spare yourself the time you spend brainstorming each week. If you have four solid topics for each week of the month, you are off to a good start.
…Take turns blogging.
If blogging is too much to tackle alone, enlist the help of others in the office. Chances are, each person will have a different point of view, writing style and unique ideas to bring to the blog. This is an easy way to get great content up without putting the entire burden on one individual.
So; are you ready to jump on the blogging hayride this fall? I sure hope so!Continue Reading »
There aren’t many marketing teams who haven’t jumped on the business blog train. Not only can you create content for sharing across social media, your business can improve upon current SEO efforts and become a thought leader in your industry. Whether your company focuses on small business insurance or errors and omissions insurance, you can be sure a blog is a good idea. Building an audience is one challenge many businesses face and overcoming that obstacle can be tricky. These 4 tips will help you build your blog’s audience.
Find Your Niche
Find your online niche and join groups that are directly related to it. You can do this by incorporating keywords and anchor links into your posts and searching for groups and blogs with these same terms. Use the key terms of your business insurance company as a starting point in your search. Not only will you get to network with people in your niche and industry but often times those people become readers of your blog.
- Tip: Instead of targeting one or two specific keywords in each post, create a hierarchical category structure of top keywords and phrases to create a broader topic based blog while still incorporating content loosely targeting specific keywords.
What you write and how you write are what keeps readers coming back to your blog for more. However, posting on your blog once a month is insufficient to really gain traction. You need to post high-quality content frequently – whether that’s once every couple days or once a week (at the minimum). This also means focusing consistently on your particular audience. While it’s okay to branch out every now and then, keep your content geared toward those who would be regular readers.
- Tip: Develop an editorial calendar with when blog posts need to go live, the key concept of each, and keywords each post will focus on. A schedule such as this one will keep
Producing valuable content that is informational and interesting is the most important part of a business blogging. “Content is king” is one phrase that has been floating around for a reason. Your content has to motivate readers to comment, share, keep reading, etc. Current, insightful and relevant information to your industry is what will be shared. Make sure your blog content meets those requirements.
- Tip: Each blog post needs to have the appropriate “share” buttons for social media channels and the option to subscribe to your RSS feed.
If you’re considering a business blog, chances are you also use various social media channels. Use these networks to spread the word about each blog post. You can also incorporate these posts into your email marketing campaigns. Link to other articles you’ve written using specific keywords or phrases to promote other posts and encourage your visitor to keep reading.
- Tip: Space out when you promote the new blog posts on different channels. Doing so will give your post a longer life-span and because each network has optimal post times, you can maximize your impressions by posting at those specific times.
Many businesses are under the assumption that blogging is only for certain industries, or that only the blogs that provide certain information, will generate traffic. People are searching Google, Bing and other search engines daily for information of all kinds, ranging from SEO optimization to various types of business insurance. Having a blog that fits your industry and business’s niche and embraces keywords, engagement and sharing is the best way to generate new readers and build a fan base from current ones.
Author: Erica Bell is a small business writer who focuses on topics such as commercial insurance and social media trends. She is a web content writer for Business.com.Continue Reading »
Summer is here! Sure, it may be tempting to put away your laptop and put your blogging efforts on hold but that would only hurt your insurance marketing strategy. Instead, you should consider getting the best of both worlds. Have you thought about working outdoors?
Whether you are blogging or even working on your agency’s social media strategy, it doesn’t hurt to juice up your laptop’s battery and sit outside for a few hours (just remember to sit in the shade to avoid the sun’s glare!) Here are five reasons you should be working outside this month:
#1: Boosts inspiration and creativity. New sounds, new sites, new colors, new atmosphere… new ideas! Sometimes all it takes is a little change to get your creative juices flowing.
#2: Change of scenery. Staring at the same screen in the same setting each and every day is not exactly inspiring. While routine is great, this break from the indoors will allow you to think outside of the box. For example, maybe you are blogging about home insurance. In the office, you may be struggling for a topic. However, outside your home, you may be looking around and notice that your garden needs some care. Now you have something great to blog about! Gardening and yard care tips are great for home insurance posts around this time of year.
#3: Fresh air. The office tends to get a little stuffy sometimes, don’t you think? Even a half hour outdoors will do wonders for your overall mood and attitude. Instead of getting frustrated with a blog topic, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Feels good, right?
#4: Lessen the chance of procrastination. You may be working indoors, but are you being productive? On a beautiful day, you are most likely staring out the window! Get the best of both worlds and you will be less likely to put off the five blogs you need to write.
#5: Peace and quiet. If you blog out of a noisy office, chances are you usually turn to your headphones to get away. If you find a remote place outside, you will not have to worry about the constant chatter or your blaring headphones. Just you, your laptop and the sound of nature!
These benefits sound tempting, right? We thought so! The key is to NOT get distracted while you are outside. Take advantage of this time to enjoy the fresh air but remember that you still need to get your work done; your strategy depends on it!Continue Reading »
Say hello to warm weather! While it may be tempting to put all insurance marketing efforts on hold and hit the beach, that would not be ideal for your business. What you CAN do is bring some summer fun into your blog posts over the next few months!
Here are 20 blogging topics you can use over the course of the summer:
Other seasonal policies:
Now that you have 20 ideas to go off of, hit the beach or a local park for some quiet time. Blogging outdoors is a great way to get the best of the summer weather while still being productive. It can also help inspire some creativity; it’s a win/win!Continue Reading »
The old saying goes “don’t judge a book by its cover.” Sadly, when it comes to blogging, many online readers do. For bloggers, our cover is our title. If you do not produce an eye-catching, jumping-off-the-page kind of headline, your blog will be quickly dismissed. There is nothing worse than that for us bloggers! In order to avoid having this happen to our posts, it is important that we are all aware of a few tips and techniques on how to create interesting and relevant titles in the world of insurance.
Before we get into the techniques, there are a few ground rules that one must follow. Both of these rules are what make the title process so tricky, but they are important for your insurance marketing strategy.
This definitely changes the difficulty level of titling your post, but it is not impossible! Now that we have the two rules in place, let’s talk about creativity. Below, you will find a list of tips and techniques that may help you when you go to write an interesting title.
- Top 10 lists. Numbers will often catch readers’ eyes and it means that the blog must be broken down into sections (much easier to read than long paragraphs that blend together). Example: Top 10 Ways to Save on Auto Insurance!
- Ask a question. Many online readers are often looking for answers when searching. By asking the question, you will lure readers in for answers. Example: Looking for Ways to Save on Health Insurance?
- Pop culture. If you write an interesting blog post having to do with pop culture, make sure you mention it in the title! This is a sure way to make your blog stand out from the straight-forward titles. I have a great example from a successful post I wrote about Shark Week. Example: Shark Week Rocks and So Does Life Insurance!
- Excite your readers. If you sound excited by using an exclamation point, you may get others excited. You want to get your readers revved up! Example: New Year, New Goals, New Coverage!
- Be a know it all. Online readers love being told how to do something. Write a title that showcases the fact that YOU know what you are talking about and have the steps to prove it. Example: How to Write a Blog Post in 60 Minutes or Less
As you can see, these are all great ways to make your title jump off the page the next time readers are scrolling their search engine results. Yes, catchy-titles take time, effort and a little practice but with these tips and a little research, you will be producing creative titles in no time!
Have you guys ever created a title that was a hit? Tell us about it in the comment section- we would love to hear about your successes!Continue Reading »
A few weeks ago, I covered 15 different movies that you could incorporate into your blog posts in order to make them much more interesting and shareable. Why should the fun end at the movies? There are tons of television series that can also be thrown into your insurance marketing strategy mix!
If your readers are able to relate to the content that you are writing, you are sure to hit home. Bonus points if you can add a touch of comedy to your post!
Here are ten television series that deserve to be blogged about:
So, are you convinced that insurance and pop culture can actually work in harmony? The next time you watch an episode of your favorite television series, start taking notes! Chances are, you will have an awesome blog post by the end of the half hour.
As always, share your ideas in the comment section!Continue Reading »
The movies are not only for the big screen- they can be just as entertaining in your blog posts! It is not always easy coming up with topics to blog about, never mind an interesting topic. However, in order to benefit from your blogging, it is important to make sure the content that you write is interesting and worth sharing. If your post does not catch the public eye, then what is the point?
As a blogger, I have found that incorporating pop culture into your insurance marketing strategy and blogging efforts will always pay off. These posts seem to get the most traction and are shared the most often! Whether you choose to blog about a hit-single, a movie or television show, you are sure to be appealing to a much larger audience than if you are blogging about a policy.
To get started, here are 15 movies that you could be comparing to your policies in your next blog post:
There are millions of films out there; it’s time to choose one of your favorites and find a way to write about it! Insurance is not always the easiest topic to relate to pop culture, but these 15 ideas prove that it is not impossible.
Have a movie in mind? Let us know about it in the comment section! We would love to hear your creative ideas!Continue Reading »
Ah February, the month of love! With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I thought it would be interesting to write up a post about love. As a blogger, you hope that all readers will fall in love with your blog and keep coming back for more. However, in order for this to happen it is important that you reciprocate the feeling! It is time to learn how to show your readers some love this V-day!
#1: Always give back. For all those loyal followers and readers, give something back. Perhaps you hold a contest or give away prizes. Whatever you do, a reward will be greatly appreciated and have readers coming back for more.
#2: Comment your way into their heart. If you have readers who write on their own blogs, be sure to read and comment on theirs, too. There is nothing better than two bloggers supporting each other back and forth.
#3: Do not be afraid to get personal. Posts that are geared towards your products and niches are great, but it never hurts to get a little personal. Post about an experience or even a general topic that has been on your mind. This way, you will come off as more human!
#4: Recognize your readers. If you have a few loyal readers who will comment every once in a while, give them a quick shout out! You can do this on Twitter or even Facebook. They are sure to appreciate the recognition!
#5: Ask a reader to guest post. Sure, it is your blog but it does not hurt to have another voice every once in a while! Find a loyal reader and ask if they are interested in writing a guest post. This will not only build on your relationship but show readers that the blog is about them just as much as it is about your company and services.
With these few techniques, you will be able to build stronger relationships with those who check out your blog on the daily- not to mention generate more comments! It is so important that you continue to work on your insurance marketing strategies. If not, your blog will fall behind and soon be forgotten- and no one likes to be forgotten on Valentine’s Day!Continue Reading »
Happy New Year to all! Have you been keeping up with your New Year resolutions? While some of you are planning to lose weight and be more active, others have vowed to work on their insurance marketing efforts. In order to step up your game, you must continue to blog on your site, bookmark your posts, and keep up with your social media strategy. We understand that it may be hard to keep up with these efforts, but trust us- the end result is worth it!
In order to keep up with these efforts, I have put together a list of strategies and tips in order to make the most of your efforts.
-If possible, make sure you have a blog post up every single week. If you can get two or three up, even better!
-Make sure you include keywords in your content with the correct link attached. Choose keywords with high search volume and low competition.
-For the New Year, test out a few different blogging strategies. Try posting in a list form one day and then paragraph form the next- see which blog receives better feedback and has more shares! Pinpoint the best strategy for 2012.
-Do not be afraid to add some humor or pop culture references to your posts. The more interesting, the more shareable, the more memorable!
-In order to have your blog be seen by others, bookmark! Choose bookmarking sites such as Delicious, StumbleUpon, Digg and Reddit in order to share your posts with the public. It doesn’t hurt to share on your social media accounts, too!
-Set aside 10 minutes every day to look through local business pages on Facebook and accounts on Twitter. Follow those who you hope to connect with!
-Be a real person. It is important that you do not only spit out links all day. Throw up a few personal tweets and status updates to engage your followers
-Tweet and post at least 3-5 times a day. One post will not cut it- you will be lost in your followers’ twitterfeeds/newsfeeds!
-Motivational quotes, fun facts, and other random posts are always appreciated by your followers and tend to be the most retweeted/liked!
-Have you been shy on your social account? Reach out to your fans and followers this year!
Start 2012 off the right way! By sticking to your resolution, you will not only feel accomplished, but are sure to see results. Good luck!Continue Reading »